The Killers, Bloc Party, The Futureheads and Kaiser Chiefs play amazing sets – but which band almost didn’t make it to the gig?…

The SHOCKWAVES NME AWARDS TOUR got off to a storming start last night (January 19) in NEWCASTLE with fantastic sets by The Killers, Bloc Party, The Futureheads and Kaiser Chiefs.

Queues snaked around the Northumbria University venue hours before doors opened whilst touts were asking for as much as £200 for a ticket.

A homecoming set by The Futureheads was the night’s crowning glory, made all the more triumphant due to the fact lead singer Barry Hyde had spent the morning in hospital after suffering an allergic reaction to medication.

“I was really scared,” he told NME.COM, “Everything was swelling up – my fingers, my tongue, I couldn’t breathe properly. I went straight to hospital and was put on a drip. It’s not nice watching someone pump water into your arm I can tell you. And it really hurt.”

Despite missing an acoustic set at HMV that afternoon, Barry was back to full fitness to play a set which included ‘Decent Days And Nights’, ‘Hounds Of Love’ and new song ‘Area’.

The Killers drew the night’s most frenzied reaction as well as the most impressive stage get up. Playing against a glitzy, flashing band logo, they treated the crowd to full-throttle renditions of ‘Mr Brightside’, ‘Somebody Told Me’ and ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’.

Opening band Kaiser Chiefs maintained the high standard set by Franz Ferdinand on last year’s tour, leading the crowd through manic versions of ‘Oh My God’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’.

Speaking to NME.COM, The Killers singer Brandon Flowers said “To be an American band and headlining is an honour. And it’s really exciting playing with all these new bands that I haven’t had the chance to check out yet. Everyone seems really nice – you can usually tell when there’s a bad attitude around.”

The ShockWaves NME Awards Tour continues tonight in Glasgow (January 20), and continues throughout the month, ending on February 9 with a show at London Carling Brixton Academy. All dates have sold out.

[url=]Click here to see a gallery of pics from the night.

For all the latest news on the 2005 ShockWAves NME Awards, go to our site at [url=]nmeawards.com.